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Site updates

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Code

We’ve been ever so slowly improving our site. I admit that this is one of the first times that I actually am letting one of my own projects slowly evolve over time, rather then just doing nothing, hating it more and more over time, until the hate point hits maximum temperature and boils over and I sack the whole thing for a redesign. I’m trying out the whole “redesign is dead” thing by simply improving one thing at a time. This is made more interesting by the fact that this site uses an out-of-the-box template, one that I don’t like very much (behind the scenes). I’ve been resisting refactoring the CSS into SASS, just for time’s sake. But eventually, I will simply change the file name and start using SASS in bits and pieces. I know, it’s terrible.

So in this most recent iteration, I did a few things. The most noticeable is the homepage. I was frustrated by the fact that the guests weren’t really listed anywhere on the site, other then the individual show pages. I would often try to find a show with a specific guest and had to wade through each one. Plus, tiny square thumbnails with titles is just bad UX in my opinion. Originally the names were only revealed only on rollover, super usable for touch screens, right? The big problem is that the theme was meant for portfolios, and didn’t have all this extra meta data attached to the post type. We had to add guest name, guest link, episode number, an extra short description, etc, and then find a place for this information to live. So I broke out of the grid and just put everything on the page.

I also detest stock photos, and yet I’ve been spending time hunting down meaningless stock photos for each show. We’ll be switching over to use photos of our guests, and when it’s just me and Joel, we’ll use a photo of ourselves.

The theme used a bunch of dumb javascript for things that CSS could handle (like grids). So goodbye Isotope, it was fun while it lasted.

Next up, I plan on cleaning up the share functionality (looks like crap in Facebook etc), and making it easier to subscribe. I have links in the header and footer, but I’m not sure that it’s super obvious that there’s a drop down in the main menu. I also need to decide about paginating the homepage, if it should just be a never ending list, or at what point do I give in and add a page 2. I feel like I have some time before I decide on that one. But don’t worry, I won’t be adding infinite scroll, that’s just annoying.